Bloodstock 2019 – Band Feature/Interview: Voluntas

Bloodstock Open Air 2019 is nearly upon us and to say we’re excited is an understatement. We adore the festival and this year’s line-up is simply phenomenal. From the Ronnie James Dio Main Stage to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to the New Blood and Jägermeister Stages, there is something for everyone! Not got your tickets yet!? What are you waiting for!? Head over to the Bloodstock Festival website here and join thousands of like-minded head-bangers for a weekend of quality rock and metal.

Voluntas are a four piece thrash metal band formed in Bristol in 2015. Influenced by a range of metal sub genres – including bands the like of Pantera, Metallica, Maiden & Bloodshot Dawn – Voluntas bring an energetic, thrash/death fusion in the form of pit-enducing riffs, chuggy breakdowns, plenty of fast solos- all tied together with catchy momentum. A play-off of deep growls and clean vocals set them apart from other bands, creating a varied and progressive style of thrash.

Originally formed by members Mark Watkins (lead vocals, rythm guitar) and K-lum Schmit (lead guitar) brainstorming riffs and practising together. Shortly after, Jo Barton (Vocals, bass) was brought in to enhance their sound further, enabling them to write a full album of material.
A year on, Voluntas needed a drummer to start gigging which came in the incredibly talented form of Alex Bennet who then proceeded to re-write drum tracks and add major energy to their set.

Now with a full line up, 2017 saw Voluntas take to the stage in almost every metal venue Bristol had to offer, including entering M2TM Bristol, winning a spot in the final in 2018 and being crowned winners in 2019.

Their debut EP ‘Walk to Hell’ will be released on the 3rd August 2019.

They will be playing the New Blood Stage on Saturday the 10th August 2019.


1. Congratulations on winning the Bristol leg of the M2TM and earning your slot on the Bloodstock New Blood Stage. What made you decide to take part?

This is actually our third time competing in the Bristol M2TM, so at this point determination! Aside from the possible slot at bloodstock we viewed it as a chance to play to bigger crowds and make more contacts, the attendance for the Bristol shows is very encouraging and definitely give more than your average pub gig. On top of all that it’s simply massive fun to be part of.

2. What were some of the highlights of your competition run?

Attending for three years has been such an enjoyable experience. We’ve made so many new friends and being able to share our passion with like minded people is amazing. Bristol has a strong metal scene and we are so proud to be a part of it.

The highlight that takes the cake this year was the wall of death our crowd cooked up for us during the final – We’ve had our share of pits but that one has been the most brutal.

3. Describe the feeling if you can upon hearing your name read out as the winners?

Absolute shock and disbelief, it was such a tough competition this year. Everyone always brings their A game but having to compete against bands like Myst, Dies Holocaustum and Trayus was absolutely terrifying.

4. How big of an opportunity is playing the New Blood Stage for Voluntas? We’ve seen some bands really grow from it over the years!

Absolutely massive, our biggest show to date pails in comparison to the 1000 capacity of the new bloodstage. Also K-lum (lead guitar) and Barton (bass, backing vocals) are big fans of Bloodshot Dawn who won a slot back in 2009. If there’s any band to show you how to build on it it’s them.

5. What can Bloodstockers expect from you come festival time? Why should they come see you?

Energy. We live get those pits churning and the best way to do that is to show the crowd you’d be the first one in there if you weren’t stuck on stage! For 30 minutes we will engage your primal instincts for survival.

6. Are you regular attendees to the festival or will this be your first time?

First time for all of us! Life unfortunately gets in the way and it usually comes between one pastime or another. We are so glad to be able to combine the two this year!

7. Are you hanging about all weekend? If so who are you most looking forward to seeing?

Definitely! Alex (drums) and K-lum are very much looking forward to Children Of Bodom, Mark (Vocals, rythem guitar) wants to see Tesseract so it’s the Ronnie James Dio stage for us on Friday. Mostly, we can’t wait to check out the new blood stage and explore new bands!

8. What does the rest of 2019 look like for Voluntas? Shows? Releases?

2019 is going to be a big year for Voluntas. Our debut EP ‘Walk To Hell’ releases 03/08, a week before Bloodstock with a launch party at The Trap in Bristol. We planned it in the hopes of having a big ol’ stage to play it on and it turned out perfectly!

After that we have Gryphest on 13/09, any metalhead who’s been to Bristol will know it’s the best pub in the city, if not the country and we will be celebrating its 9th birthday alongside Dies Holocaustum and the wonderfully brutal Party Cannon.


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!